Venezuela still in dark, Juan Guaido wants ‘state of alarm’ declared

Posted March 13, 2019

Anna Ferrera, a student activist in Caracas, said: "They go around and around saying this was sabotage and how the U.S. always sabotages things and the empire is going against Venezuela". Some Caracas neighborhoods have no functioning water pumps, and schools and public offices were closed Monday.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the USA will pull all remaining personnel from its embassy in Venezuela's capital, adding that the presence of diplomatic staff "has become a constraint on US policy". Generators have alleviated conditions for some critically ill.

President Maduro blames the power outage on the United States and the political opposition, accusing them of a cyberattack on a hydroelectric dam. He also said two people who were allegedly trying to sabotage power facilities were captured and were providing information to authorities, though he gave no details.

The crisis in Venenzuela continues to deteriorate as socialism collapses and dictator Nicolas Maduro refuses to step down from power.

Venezuela is in the grips of an acute economic crisis that has helped the rise of opposition leader Juan Guaido, the national assembly speaker who in late January declared himself to be the interim leader. The country hasn't shipped $358 million in oil since the power failures started, and "the whole system is grinding to a halt", said Russ Dallen, a Miami-based partner at the brokerage firm Caracas Capital Markets.

Maduro, who retains control of the military and other state institutions as well as the backing of Russian Federation and China, has blamed Washington for his nation's economic turmoil and denounced Guaido as a puppet of the United States. Mr. Guaido tweeted about reports of looting in some cities, but details were hard to confirm.

Guaido asked the country's armed forces to allow protests during the country's interrupted electricity service, which he said was caused by corruption and inefficiency.

The United States has implemented a raft of sanctions to put pressure on Maduro, and the US special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said on Tuesday that Washington was prepared to impose "very significant" additional sanctions in the coming days against financial institutions deemed to be supporting Maduro's government. The majority of the country's Internet network remained offline.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido will ask lawmakers on Monday to declare a "state of alarm" over the country's devastating blackout in order to facilitate the delivery of global aid - a chance to score points in his power struggle with President Nicolas Maduro. However, many in the U.S. Congress are not.

"This is a technology that only the government of the United States possesses".